Prohibit marketplace e-pharmacies from selling drugs in India: CAIT to Centre

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has called upon the Centre to prohibit marketplace e-pharmacies from selling drugs in India.

The Confederation also asked for allowing operations of only registered e-pharmacies in the sector.

CAIT in a communication sent to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya urged them to prohibit marketplace e-pharmacies from selling drugs in India so that the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Rules (DC Act and Rules) are fully complied with.

The DC Act and Rules regulate import, manufacturing, sale and distribution of drugs in India and have strict mandatory requirements keeping in mind public health and safety.

“We have requested the government not only to ban marketplace e-pharmacies which have been playing with the lives of the Indian consumers, but also to permit only those registered e-pharmacies which distribute or sell drugs, stock and exhibit or offer for sale such drugs,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said.

Khandelwal said the move will prevent these marketplace e-pharmacies from hiding behind intermediary provisions to avoid any liability in case an adulterated or spurious or counterfeit or incorrect drug reaches the consumer.

“To prevent intermediaries from getting into creative agreements and operate marketplace e-pharmacy platforms, we have also requested the government to ensure that no person must be allowed to establish a web portal to act as an intermediary between the e-pharmacy entity and the consumer,” Khandelwal said.

He urged the government to impose a minimum penalty of Rs 1,00,000, which may extend to Rs 10,00,000, so that violators like “Pharmeasy, Netmeds, Flipkart, Amazon Pharmacy, Tata1Mg etc are suitably penalised”.

Khandelwal also urged the Centre to amend the ‘Draft E-Pharmacy Amendment Rules, 2018’.

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